• blog 2011 10 25 harley brake switch defect leads recall over 308000 motorcycles 1

The Associated Press reports that “Harley-Davidson Inc. is recalling about 308,000 motorcycles to fix a switch problem that can cause failure of the brake lights and possibly even the rear brakes themselves.” Harley began investigating this brake failure after a June 2010 report of a Trike model motorcycle that lost the use of its rear brakes due to the brake switch issue, the AP reports.

The news source explains that this potential brake failure risk “affects Touring, CVO Touring and Trike motorcycles from the 2009 through 2012 model years.” The AP reports that these motorcycles “were built between June 6, 2008 and Sept. 16, 2011.”

According to the AP’s report, a month after the first reported brake failure in June 2010, the manufacturer “sent investigators to a dealership in Louisiana to inspect another bike that was involved in a crash.” Harley spokeswoman, Maripat Blankenheim, said that the company had not yet determined if the brake switch issue was responsible for the Louisiana crash, in which one person was injured, the AP reports.

Blankenheim explained that she was not aware of “how seriously the person was hurt” in that July 2010 Louisiana crash, the AP reports. She was quoted in the article as saying that , “Harley is not aware of any other crashes or injuries.” 

In documents the company said it filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA), it explained that “brake light switches can be exposed to too much heat from the exhaust system,” the AP reports. According to that document released by Harley, this excessive heat can “cause the brake lights to fail, and the problem also can cause fluid leaks and the loss of rear brakes,”

The majority of motorcycles affected by this recall, about 251,000, were sold in the United States, The AP story goes on to explain that Harley will “notify owners of the recall,” and dealers will make free installations of a new rear brake light switch.  

The AP reports that, despite saying in the documents that no additional “reports of the problem” have surfaced since July 2010, the company is not taking any chances. In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the AP explains that Harley “expects the recall to cost $10 million to $12 million.”

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a brake system issue in one of the affected Harley models , contact Newsome Law Firm and fill out a case evaluation form today. Our team of attorneys has experience specific to complications associated with motorcycle recalls. Not only can they give you the legal guidance you need, they can help you get the compensation you deserve. 


AP Staff Writer. (October 24, 2011) “Harley to recall more than 308,000 motorcycles.” Retrieved on October 25, 2011 from Google News.